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916 GoLite Poncho Tarp 2014-04-01

Jake under the Poncho Tarp set as a tarp

Jake, the good pup, under the Poncho Tarp.

Last spring Amy and I purchased GoLite ponchos. We had been looking for a small tarp to use as an emergency shelter, but instead of buying just a tarp, we decided on ponchos or rather the Poncho Tarp. We would then be able to use the Poncho Tarp as a shelter or as a raincoat.
We practiced pitching the poncho as a shelter and found the set to be quick and easy. Stake out the back corners, lift the middle of the front with a trekking pole, and then stake the front corners. Voila - a shelter. We liked the Poncho Tarps so well, that we planned to use them as rain gear on our trip to the Rockies.
On a backpacking trip to Lawn Lake, we were caught in a morning shower. We stopped, pulled out the ponchos and sat on a log as we waited for the storm to pass. When the rain eased, we decided to walk - wearing the ponchos. Soon, we were wet from sweat. It was not overly warm, humid, nor was the trail steep. The fabric just did not breathe and we heated up quickly. We still liked and used the Poncho Tarp, as we continued to define how to best use the product.
Later in the summer, while backpacking on the North Inlet Trail on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park we carried just one Poncho Tarp, not two. When a morning shower came as we were hiking, we pulled out the poncho and waited the storm out. We sat comfortably on a log eating, drinking, and watching the rain drops. After the shower passed, we stowed the Poncho Tarp and began walking again. Not far down the trail we met a uniformed Park employee (possibly a Ranger). We talked for a few minutes, when she asked, 'how did you stay dry during the rain shower?' Smiling, we proceeded to tell her the story of our little Poncho Tarp and how we used it to stay dry. She probably owns one by now!

Poncho Tarp on the scales

For a few GoLite Poncho Tarp Notes ...

Our Poncho Tarp in a mesh stuff sack weighed 7.5 ounces. The four stakes were another 1.3 ounces.

The Poncho Tarp stuffs to the size of a grapefruit, but there was still room to squish the sack in the pack to maximize packing.

We carry four stakes with the Poncho Tarp. The stakes are also designated as the supplemental stakes for the tent.

The Poncho Tarp may be used as a ground cloth - dirt is probably not good for the poncho, but it washes off.

The Poncho Tarp may also be used to protect any gear from the weather, extend the fly of the tent, or make a cooking area.

We carry super lightweight wind jackets that repel a light drizzle to compliment the Poncho Tarp. If we need to hike in the rain we use the wind jacket unless we are cold, then we use the Poncho Tarp.

The Poncho Tarp would make a great around-the-camp-in-the-rain garment. We have never actually had to use it for that purpose yet.

We found the Poncho Tarp very useful to just drape it over us to ward off a brief rain shower.

Hunkering down in the rain worked very well. We stayed dry and it gave us a reason to take a break and eat. Of course when a front moves through you might have to walk in the rain.

Don the Poncho Tarp when you are cold. Close up the sides of the Poncho Tarp and then walk or exercise. You will heat up quickly.

The Poncho Tarp pitches easily with a trekking pole and stakes, but could also be rigged without either. Extra string would be required.

Amy did complain about the one-size-fits-all, the Poncho Tarp was a bit long for her.

The Poncho Tarp will also find uses as an emergency rain garment for the vehicle, stadium rain poncho, etc.

The GoLite Poncho Tarp has a permanent home in our box of rain gear. It does however, like every other piece of rain gear, have it's strengths and weaknesses. We pack it, when the strengths outweigh the weaknesses.

Happy GoLite Poncho Tarp trails


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